Theophane and Therese

It was twenty years ago in June that Pope John Paul II canonized 117 Vietnamese Martyrs. My interest in the Vietnamese Martyrs started about that time when I read a book on St. Theophane Venard (left), a French missionary executed in Vietnam in 1861. I still remember one of the lines I read in that [Read More...]

This Day in Brooklyn Catholic History

On December 19, 1875, Transfiguration Church in Williamsburg was dedicated. Founded in an area originally known as Wheat Hill, Father John Fagan celebrated the first Mass in a carpenter’s shop on Hooper Street in 1874. (He wanted to name the parish St. Sylvester after his friend and old boss Father Sylvester Malone, but the Bishop [Read More...]

Two Great New Books on Hopkins

The last few months have seen two great books on the English Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins: a fictionalized account by Ron Hansen, and a biography by Paul Mariani. I’ve always found Hansen’s books a pleasure to read, and this is no exception. I knew of Paul Mariani as a poet and literary biographer, and [Read More...]